How many people does it take to change a light bulb? At long last, NONE!
Inconveniences pepper our domestic existence. Whether it’s lifting and lowering the toilet seat, mowing the lawns, stirring coffee or the oppressive burden of maintaining personal hygiene, it’s the hum-drum of modern life that keeps us from the important stuff, like… watching Big Brother.
But if there is one ritual that we have endured for quite long enough, it’s changing light bulbs.
Just two years ago, Mr Thomas Magdi of Florida decided he’d ad enough and filed US patent 6,826,983; a comprehensive design for a contraption to automatically replace light bulbs. We’ve all fumbled through a darkened room in search of a blown light bulb, usually stubbing our toes and cursing like a sailor. So an automated light bulb changer seems like a good idea, right? Well, not when you get a look at the paperwork.
Mr Magdi certainly didn’t author the doctrine that a human should never do anything that a machine can do in twice the time and at ten times the cost. But as an example of complexity being the manifestation of inspired stupidity, it’s tough to go past his Light Blub Changer (LBC).
The patent application is a comedic masterpiece and clinical evidence that some people are better off relaxing on the couch. Over 17 pages (incorporating 24 diagrams and three fl ow charts), Magdi outlines how his clunky device senses and automatically replaces a blown globe. He is unclear whether the LBC lives beside the light bulb or needs to be raised in anticipation of an outage. It does, however, need to be stocked with fresh bulbs, which kind of defeats the purpose. And one wonders how much light would actually escape the contraption’s embrace once mounted.
We can only hope that, when he wasn’t replacing blown globes in his many Light Bulb Changers, Mr Magdi was able to dedicate his energies to other pressing innovations. Like a toilet roll changer. Or an automatic toenail clipper. Maybe even an alarm clock that hits its own snooze button.